Tag Archives: K

Kontradiction – Donnet Type K

Like the Donnet Six Type G the six cylinder Type K was built in Donnet’s new state of the art six story factory which like the FIAT Lingotto factory in Turin featured a test track on the roof.

Donnet Type K, VSCC Prescott

The 2.5 litre / 152 cui 6 cylinder Type K like Mike Tebbett example seen at Prescott in these photographs was manufactured from 1929 until 1933 when Donnet went bankrupt shortly before rivals Citroën.

Donnet Type K, Mike Tebbett, VSCC Prescott

The vehicle in these photographs is officially registered as being built in 1927, when the smaller 2.3 litre / 140 cui 6 cylinder CI6 was the largest Donnet in production, I can only assume a clerical error in the official DVLA records is to blame for the contradiction.

Donnet Type K, VSCC Prescott

The French engineer, journalist and man credited with being behind the creation of the Le Mans 24 Hour race Charles Faroux noted that the Donnet Six was “economical” and “smooth” as to be expected from a six cylinder vehicle.

Donnet Type K, Mike Tebbett, VSCC Prescott

Apparently testing on the roof of the Donnet Factory was abandoned after one unfortunate exceeded track limits, allegedly when the factory was closed all of the machines, tools and existing unfinished stock were buried in a large hole in the ground.

Thanks for joining me on this “Kontradiction” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be returning to Castle Combe for their season ending race meeting. Don’t forget to come back now !


Nimble Lightweight – Renault Type K

After giving a demonstration to a friend of his father on the 24th of December 1898 aspiring engineer Louis Renault sold his first 1hp Voiturette and founded Société Renault Frères with his brothers Marcel and Fernand who were experienced at running their fathers textile business.

Renault Type K, Eric Leroux, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Like many competitors Renault recognised the win on Sunday sell on Monday benefits of competing in the popular City to City races of the age and both Louis and Marcel would prove their companies products in such events.

Renault Type K, Eric Leroux, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Renault has recently recreated the nimble lightweight, 600 kg / 1322 lbs, Type K featured today as a tribute to the car Marcel drove in the 1902 Paris to Vienna road race in which he beat far more powerful opposition from Mercedes and Panhard to traverse the 1300 km / 800 mile often narrow steep alpine route at an average speed of 62.5 km/h / 38 mph.

Renault Type K, Eric Leroux, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Eric Leroux is seen driving the car, powered by a 30hp 5 litre / 302 cui 4 cylinder motor at last years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this “Nimble Lightweight” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the action at the weekends “Oulton Park Gold Cup”. Don’t forget to come back now !


A Short Tale – Porsche 917K #917-015

Despite the success of winning the 1969 International Championship for Makes handsomely with a maximum of 45 points with their 3 litre/183 cui 908 model Porsche officially withdrew from the series with two rounds to go having failed to win any of the three marquee events of the series at Daytona, won by Roger Penske’s Lola Chevrolet T70, Sebring and Le Mans won by John Wyers ancient Gulf Sponsored Ford GT40 Mk I’s.

Porsche came to an agreement with John Wyer to run a works supported team of 917’s in all but the Targa Florio and Nurburgring rounds of the 1970 series where the 908 was deemed sufficiently competitive to win outright as it had the previous season.

John Wyers JW Automotive Team tested a 917 at Zeltweg in October 1969 and developed the Kurz Heck, also known as K, KH and Short Tale bodywork seen on today’s featured car, the rear aerofoil would first appear mid season at Le Mans.

Porsche 917K, Niello Concours at Serrano,

The first round of the 1970 International Championship for Makes was the 24 hour race at Daytona where Pedro Rodriguez Leo Kinnunen and Brian Redman qualified chassis #917-015 2nd behind the debutant Ferrari 512S model driven by Mario Andretti, Arturo Merzario and Jacky Ickx.

Pedro, Leo and Brian won the race by 45 laps from the sister car shared by Brian and Jo Siffert with the Ferrari of Mario, Art and Jacky 3 laps further back.

Chassis #015 was used as a team spare at Sebring where Mario Mario was drafted in to join Ignazio Giunti and Nino Vaccarella to drive the race of his life to secure Ferrari’s only championship win of the season.

Porsche 917K, Niello Concours at Serrano,

At the 1970 Watkins Glen Can Am round chassis #015 made it’s only other race appearance of the season with a smart new paint job and a rear wing fitted, Brian finished the race in seventh place and for the remainder of the season the car reverted to the role of team spare.

Porsche went on to secure the 1970 International Championship for Makes with a maximum 63 points from Ferrari, JW Automotive won seven of the ten races only being usurped by the Porsche Salzburg 917 at Le Mans. JW Automotive and Porsche Salzburg each won a race Targa Florio and Nurburgring respectively with the older 908 spyder model.

Now it get’s complicated Porsche sold the chassis #015 to the Finish AAW team while retaining the chassis tag which Porsche reassigned to #917-035 which was taken from stock and given to JW Automotive for the 1971 season.

AAW rebuilt chassis #015 into a spyder and fitted the motor from their 917 chassis number #917-021, the complete car was given the identity #917-01-021.

Leo Kinnunen, who remember had won the 1970 Daytona 24 hours in the chassis with it’s orignal ID tag, was employed to drive #917-01-021 in the 1971 Interserie Championship, a European unlimited series.

The flying Fin Leo scored an outright win at home in Keimola with enough further placings to secure the 1971 Interserie Championship.

Many years later Kevin and Bob Rapp took #01-021 to Gunnar Racing who reconstructed #015 as it is seen in today’s photograph’s, using those parts of the original #917-015 chassis that remained and reconstructed the spyder #917-01-021 from the remainder with a new chassis.

Using respected historian Doug Nye’s principal that a chassis history is not transferable, with it’s chassis plate for example, then today’s featured car can be seen as the original #917-015, though I suspect the Porsche #917-035 which was given the #015 tag by the factory in 1971 probably still has that tag attached, 035/015 which is most certainly not the car that won the 1970 Daytona 24 hour race, today can be seen at the Porsche Museum.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs of Bruce Canepa’s Porsche 917 at Niello Concours at Serrano a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “A Short Tale” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now.


Hilly Country Gathering – Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Mazda

For the last 36 years Classic Sports and Racing Car enthusiasts have been gathering year for the Classic Motorsports Mitty for what is now claimed to be the oldest such gathering on the east coast. Kerry Williams kindly sent Steve Arnaudin his photo’s of last weekends event with permission for them to be used here.

Chevrolet Corvair, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

Among the classics present was this 1st generation convertible Chevrolet Corvair.

Chevrolet Corvair, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

One of 15 racing Corvairs present the #51 above is a second generation model distinguished by it’s arrow like shape when seen from above.

Ford GT40, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

While I cannot speak for the historical authenticity of either of the vehicles above, they look like a pair of Ford GT40’s of the type Ford would come to dominate Le Mans with during the mid to late 1960’s.

Ford GT, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

Robertson Racing is based in Braselton, GA, not far from the Road Atlanta track from 2008 until 2011 they raced Kevin Doran built Ford GT’s in the GT2 category of the American Le Mans Series. The highlight of their four years in the sport was a 3rd in class finish at Le Mans in 2011. The car with the yellow stripes appears to be chassis #JE5-004066-002 and the one with the red stripes appears to be chassis #JE5-004066-004.

Penske PC17, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

All thought the Penske above is carrying the #8 as used by Rick Mears on the 1987 Penske PC16 the sidepods are more reminiscent of the 1988 PC 17, if you happen to know which car this is, or who is driving it please do not hesitate to chime in below.

TR250 K, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

The first of two vehicles I have never heard of before are the Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) TR 250 K concept vehicle built in 1967 around a Triumph TR6 chassis and motor, some would have you believe this car should have been developed into the Triumph TR7.

Hennessey Venom 1000, Road Atlanta, Classic Motorsport Mitty

Finally I’d like to suggest that if your 500 hp Viper is feeling a bit tame and you happen to have US $187,710 in spare change you might take car & cash over to Hennessey who will double the horsepower with a pair of Turbo Chargers and give the body and chassis some modification and leave you with a Hennessey Venom 1000 timed from rest to 200 mph in just 20.3 seconds by Road & Track, now that is what I call ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ !

My thanks to Kerry Williams for permission to use his photo’s and to Steve Arnaudin to think to forward them.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Hilly Country Gathering’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hot Diggity Dog, Terraplane K Special Convertible

Today’s post features an on going restoration by Wayne who you may remember restored the Terraplane Six Cab Pickup Express that I featured a couple of weeks ago.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

Wayne tracked this never wrecked or rusted car, built in 1934 with just 50,000 miles on the clock, for 25 years before he got the opportunity to purchase it two years ago. A new reproduction wiring harness is being installed with a 12 volt alternator built inside a generator case to keep the stock look so that Wayne can both see the road and be visible when using his pride and joy on the road as intended, he has no plans to turn this car into a trailer queen or a supercharged hemi powered hot rod.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

The car is fitted with an original recently refurbished 80 hp 3474 cc / 212 cui flat head six cylinder motor and original smooth oil filled original cork clutch and transmission. Wayne has purchased low back axle gear ratio’s manufactured by The Railton Owners Club in the UK for more comfortable touring.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

Since acquiring the car Wayne has taken it apart, and fitted factory optional 16 inch wheels with black wall tyres, and has plans to fit a new correct black fabric hood and replace the heavy duty vinyl seat upholstery with leather using the correct stitching patterns.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

When Wayne bought the car it had red pinstripes which have all been removed and replaced by wheat ones ones laid by an old school friend known professionally as “Old Bob Sign”.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

The ’34 Special K sits on a chassis with a 112″ wheel base, weighs 2590 lbs, with a no cost option independent ‘Axle-Flex’ suspension, cost US$ 695 when new. This is one of just 20,000 ’34 Special K Terraplanes, all bodies, built and one of less than 10 original Detroit built ’34 Special K Convertibles known to still exist.

Terraplane K Special convertible coupe

As can be seen from the faces of Wayne’s lady Sandra on the left and her friend Mary Barbra after their first ever ride sitting in the dickie / rumble seat, this is one fun automobile even when only taken for a quick spin around the ranch. Here is wishing Wayne many happy hours motoring and keeping the Robert Johnson’s Terraplane Blues at bay.

My thanks to Wayne Graefen for his photo’s and sharing the story of this rare remarkable survivor.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Hot Diggity Dog’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !